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Mike Woodson will reportedly return as Indiana men's basketball head coach

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - MARCH 03: Head coach Mike Woodson of the Indiana Hoosiers watches the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on March 03, 2024 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Indiana Hoosiers head coach Mike Woodson's job is reportedly safe. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) (G Fiume via Getty Images)

Indiana basketball coach Mike Woodson will retain his job next season despite the difficulties of the current campaign, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Woodson, 65, led the team to the NCAA tournament twice in his first two seasons. He is 60-39 over his three seasons at the helm of Indiana. Last season was the best of his tenure so far, as the Hoosiers finished second in the Big Ten and went to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

This year, however, Indiana has a 16-13 record. The last 12 games have seen the team go 4-8, falling to the ninth spot in the Big Ten standings.

The news of Woodson's expected return was first reported by the Indianapolis Star's Zach Osterman, who previously noted that firing the coach would trigger a $12.6 million buyout. His contract is structured in a way that would have allowed Indiana to pay the owed money in annual disbursements of $1 million, but the program is passing on that option and giving Woodson a chance to turn things around.

Woodson, who had an 11-year NBA playing career, is a former Hoosier basketball star and an Indianapolis native. Woodson has over three decades of coaching experience overall, including stops as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks. He notched five appearances in the league's conference semifinals as a coach, with his 2012 Knicks' 54 wins making franchise history. He'll need to pull from that expertise to revive the program in his fourth year.

Indiana passes on fan-favorite Dusty May

The Hoosiers seemed to be a good fit for Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May on paper, and he could potentially take his talents to a Big Ten Rival.

May rose to stardom after leading Florida Atlantic on a dream run to the Final Four last season. Although he signed a new long-term deal to remain with the Owls shortly after the success, he has been linked to the head coach opening at Ohio State since Chris Holtmann was fired last month. While May can't be contacted until the season ends, his agents and associates can.

But May shares Woodson's ties to Indiana, as he was born in Peoria, Illinois, but raised in Greene County — which is just 30 minutes away from the Indiana University campus. He worked as a student manager for the program and came back to work there in an administrative role from 2002-05.

In six seasons for Florida Atlantic, he has the school's record for wins as a coach with a 121-66 record over strictly winning seasons. In their first season since moving from Conference USA, his Owls (22-7) currently sit at the No. 2 spot in the American Athletic Conference.